Indian residential schools and genocide

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Jul 10 05:08:21 PDT 1998

>From June 12-14, 1998 an Inter-Tribal Tribunal was held in Vancouver B.C.;
it was observed by IHRAAM (International Human Rights Association of American Minorities) an NGO of the U.N. The Tribunal dealt with allegations of: sexual and physical abuse, murder, cover-up of murder, threats against witnesses, obstruction of justice, forced assimilation, forced de-Indianization, coerced/deceptive adoption, coerced/deceptive sterilization, medical experimentation, invasive medical procedures conducted without pain relief, and many other practices against Indigenous Peoples that individually and collectively might add up to ongoing genocide as defined by the UN Convention on Genocide.

I was one of 15 Tribal Judges of that Tribunal and my comments that follow represent only my own preliminary opinions and not official findings--yet to be published--and my own opinions are not in any way necessarily the opinions of other Tribunal members nor of IHRAAM.

I found substantial and credible evidence (triangulated with other independent evidence and correlations between witnesses who did not know each other or utilize the same media sources) of systematic, planned, coordinated and ongoing practices that amounted to mind control as also commonly found in cults and in military/intelligence circles.

Specifically we had some very credible evidence that in the Canadian Residential Schools for Indigenous Children : 1) Parents were under the belief and made to belief that placing their children in Residential Schools was a matter of Canadian Law (Forced Assimilation); 2) Curricula were heavy on rote memorization and mantra-like repetitions of core concepts to be internalized by the students; 3) Sexual and physical abuse were routinely used as instruments for behavior "modification", disorientation, punishment for failure to assimilate or for practicing sacred Native rituals and articulating sacred Native principles and concepts; 4) Diets were heavy in starches and carbohydrates--protein deficient--and represented significant physiological departures from traditional Native diets; 5) Residential schools were isolated, often on islands, to promote detachment of Native children from traditional families, clans, Bands and support systems and to prevent escape; 6) Bullies and favored insiders--who had demonstrated sufficient supplication and assimilation--were used as informants and instruments of punishment and coercion; 7) Traditional and sacred Native concepts, practices, rituals, regalia and stories were routinely ridiculed as savage etc with students rewarded or punished on the basis of extent of acceptance or non-acceptance of trashing of sacred Native ways and acceptance and/or non-acceptance/internalization of non-Native ways and concepts; 8) Sleep deprivation, calling in students at times like 2 am for sexual or physical abuse or punishment for failure to assimilate was routinely practiced producing fear, disorientation etc; 9) One person testified to having been in a mental institution in 1959 and having been offered or coerced to use LSD as a "therapeutic treatment" at a time and in an area in which MKMULTRA operations (CIA LSD experiments with LSD as an instrument of mind control and interrogation applied on mental patients in Canada as well as U.S. Forces in the U.S. and others)--this needs to be explored further; 10) Careful manipulation of the key religious concepts to be indoctrinated and not to be discussed (e.g. "Golden Rule") as well as careful manipulation of key Native concepts to be trashed through indoctrination; 11) Careful, calculated and graduated punishments and rewards for failure to assimilate or extent of assimilation respectively; 12) Traditional Native concepts caricatured, trashed or coopted into new paradigms to be adopted; 13) Assimilation only token or marginal--assimilation into subservient roles on the margins of the non-Indian world world into which Indian Children were being taken; 14) Children isolated from parents and then indoctrinated that parents and former friends and ways of life could not be trusted and had abandoned them; 15)Strengths and weaknesses of children carefully calculated and utilized for manipulation and indoctrination; 16) extensive physical activity, sleep deprivation and diet manipulation used to produce and utilize disorientation and break down resistance; etc, etc,

For an excellent discussion of the Residential School System in Canada see: "The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada" by Roland Chrisjohn, Sherri Young and Michael Maraun, Theytus Books Ltd, Penticton, B.C., 1997.

Jim Craven

Member, Blackfoot Confederacy

Louis Proyect


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list